As the FTSE reshuffle this week told a tale of our times, index investing involves sticking with the winners.
An equity index is a moving portrait of the economic health and direction of a nation or economic area. Each quarter, the compilers of main indices of the world make changes to their Index composition.
The FTSE 100 in the UK holds the 100 largest UK-quoted companies. The S&P 500 holds the 500 largest US names.
At the quarter, end out go the less successful companies whose market values have been falling, and in come replacements whose share prices and market values have been rising.
This time the changes to the FTSE 100 index removed three companies damaged by the Covid-19 crash, and one that is on the wrong side of the green divide.
Both easyJet and Carnival offer holidays by air or by cruise liner. Their businesses have been temporarily stopped by the bans brought in to control the pandemic.
There are doubts about how long it will take to get their business back. Have their markets have been sentenced to a less prosperous future as pressures intensify against fuel hungry travel for pleasure and as some people worry about the risks more?
Meggitt has dropped out, also damaged by the changes in aviation. Producing high-grade engineered products for planes, it faces fewer orders from the civil side of the airline industry for some time ahead.
Centrica, the gas supplier has also been demoted. While it is still an important utility supplying a lot of heating and energy to people's homes, it has been disadvantaged by the fall in oil and gas prices and by the strong policy thrust to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
A reflection of the turbulent times
These changes are a perfect cameo of our times. The companies coming in include two winners from the Covid-19 revolution.
Avast is a cyber software specialist at a time when many people are adding to their home computing capacity and strengthening security, and when businesses are equipping many more people to work remotely from home.
Homeserve is a company that services and repairs domestic equipment, which should have plenty of work now so many more people are spending so much more time in their own properties.
The return of Ladbrokes, owned by GVC, and the promotion of Kingfisher are two more traditional businesses. They too are clearly getting some benefit from current straightened circumstances.
Kingfisher has now reopened its B&Q stores and is doing a good trade as people kept at home decide on some DIY.
It appears online gambling too can help pass the time.